After talking and laughing with Barbora, her friend got back from the museum. Just in time to answer a few questions, which she was willing to give in the morning sun that Monday.
“My name is Christiana and I’m from Italy. I work as an au pair in Ireland at the moment. I started in July 2016 and I will finish in July this year. I’m working Mondays till Fridays in a family with 2 children. During the weekends we (me and my friend) have our days off and are free to do whatever we want, whenever we want. During the weekdays I prepare the kids for school, get them dressed, make them breakfast. Sometimes I bring them to school, but not everyday. And when they get back from school I play with them, entertain them. Just a normal life, regular things. Me being part of the family as a au pair. While living in Ireland, if have to get used to the different kind of weather. It’s terrible. The only thing, or not the only thing, but one of the things I miss about Italy is the weather. Because the weather in Ireland is crazy, it’s like it’s raining every single day. But it’s such a beautiful country. And the say that if it wasn’t for the rain, the landscapes would be terrible, because of the amount of rain that falls every year. And now we are here in Amsterdam and the weather is great today. It’s my first time in Amsterdam and I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything so far. I just got back from the Van Gogh museum. And later today we are going to the Anne Frank house. I read the story about Anne Frank and we are really curious to see the museum. But I pretty much enjoyed everything. Just walking the streets, see people, the many tourists and people living here. I enjoyed the places outside Amsterdam as well. Including Haarlem, seeing the culture, the food. It’s a really nice city! I haven’t tried anything weird so far. I tasted a lot of cheese and tried the waffels. Or, I don’t know what the name is..”
Jemaine and I give some suggestions, little waffels, not so tiny. So no ‘poffertjes’. Nor crepes. But a bit thicker..AHA, ‘pannenkoeken’ aka pancakes.
“Yeah those! They were really nice. And so far everyone has been nice. I haven’t had a big conversation with any of the locals here yet, but from the people working in the museum, in the shops and back at the hotel, they were really cool. I don’t know if she (she points at here friend Barbara) told you the story about the restaurant owner yet. But it’s not just him here in Amsterdam, he’s not everybody, I think you can find bad people everywhere. So I don’t want to say that because of him, everyone here in Amsterdam is like him. One bad encounter doesn’t make it like that, of course not. My sister lives in Germany and I know it’s not the same, but the culture and the people could be similar to the people living here.”
Hmm, don’t know. Are we similar to the germans, is the question Jemaine and I ask ourselves out loud. We both agree that we think that the germans are a little bit more to themselves and we are a bit more open, approachable..A bit more outgoing, and here in Amsterdam even more..? #tellusifitsnot
“Yeah, I think that’s true. But so far only friendly people, we had just one accident, but everything else made it up tho. Besides Amsterdam, we have visited some other cities together as well. I like to travel, we both love to. And I think Edinburgh has been the best city trip so far. But I am not sure, because we have been to London, Paris, Edinburgh, Liverpool and now here. It wasn’t the first time for me in London, so it wasn’t all new to me anymore. And I found Paris quite disappointed, I didn’t really enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city. But..no. And Liverpool was our first time going on a city trip together. So as much as we saw, we were still getting used to traveling together, walking around. Walking a lot! So I think the best one has been Scotland, it’s magical. It’s like you just stepped on to a set of a Victorian movie age filmset. And the city is so small, so you can get around the city easily by foot. Lot’s of museums over there as well. And Amsterdam too, the city here is amazing.“
Here friend Barbora jumps in to add another tip.
“And Prague, the culture, amazing. When I lived in the Czech Republic I was like ‘oh it’s just Prague’. But now.. Whenever I am over there, I act like a toerist and explore the city time after time. Whenever I see pictures online of Prague, I think to myself; ‘oh my god, oh my god, that’s beautiful..is that really my city?’ I love it.”
Every person I meet, I ask the same last question, to keep the motivation for everything in life flowing.
‘Say you’ve got 5 minutes…a kid walks in. And he or she is asking for your advice. In those 5 minutes…what would it be and why?’
“Don’t waste time. And don’t listen to people that say; oh you’re to old, oh you’re to skinny, oh you’re to tall or to short. Because if you listen to people whom talk like that, you will never go anywhere. And they just don’t care about you, they just want to take you down and be mean. Not everybody is mean, but you always meet these type of people in your life. Or if you find something difficult to do, but you get stuck with the obstacles in the way. Just continue, follow your dreams.
And I know these are the typical things people say, but just do it. No matter how hard, even if you don’t have money or something. Nowadays in Italy. People are like; I should find a job, so I can save money, buy a house, buy nice things and blablabla. But they aren’t happy. So I think happiness is just the most importent thing, because all the money in the world won’t buy you real happiness. We have to live life. Not survive. And I will try to live by these words everyday too, even when it’s hard sometimes, I try.”